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'''Spiritualism''' has been defined as the belief that departed or disembodied [[spirits]] hold intercourse with mortals by means of physical phenomenon (as by rapping) or during “abnormal” mental states as in trances commonly manifest through a medium. Lewis Spence defines it as “the belief in the continuance of life after death, and the possibility of communication between the dead and the living, through the agency of a medium or psychic, a person qualified in some unknown manner to be the mouthpiece of supernatural beings ... variously regarded as a religion or philosophy.”<ref>Lewis Spence, ''Encyclopedia of Occultism'', (New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1960), s.v. “spiritualism.”</ref>
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'''Spiritualism''' has been defined as the belief that departed or disembodied [[spirits]] hold intercourse with mortals by means of physical phenomenon (as by rapping) or during “abnormal” mental states as in trances commonly manifest through a medium. Lewis Spence defines it as “the belief in the continuance of life after death, and the possibility of communication between the dead and the living, through the agency of a medium or [[psychic]], a person qualified in some unknown manner to be the mouthpiece of supernatural beings ... variously regarded as a religion or philosophy.”<ref>Lewis Spence, ''Encyclopedia of Occultism'', (New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1960), s.v. “spiritualism.”</ref>
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[[File:Fox sisters 185211-324x500.jpg|thumb|The Fox sisters]]
    
== History ==
 
== History ==
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Spiritualism also paved the way for the successive revelations to be made by the Brotherhood through metaphysics, first systematically set forth by Mary Baker Eddy in ''Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures'' (1866); through Madame [[Helena P. Blavatsky]] in Theosophy (1875); through the writings of Max Heindel (1911); through the Agni Yoga Society under [[Nicholas Roerich|Nicholas and Helena Roerich]]; and through other ascended master activities of the early twentieth century such as the [[I AM Activity]] headed by [[Guy W. Ballard|Guy]] and [[Edna Ballard]] under the guidance of the master [[Saint Germain]].
 
Spiritualism also paved the way for the successive revelations to be made by the Brotherhood through metaphysics, first systematically set forth by Mary Baker Eddy in ''Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures'' (1866); through Madame [[Helena P. Blavatsky]] in Theosophy (1875); through the writings of Max Heindel (1911); through the Agni Yoga Society under [[Nicholas Roerich|Nicholas and Helena Roerich]]; and through other ascended master activities of the early twentieth century such as the [[I AM Activity]] headed by [[Guy W. Ballard|Guy]] and [[Edna Ballard]] under the guidance of the master [[Saint Germain]].
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Historians trace the ancestry of spiritualism to witchcraft, demoniac possession, poltergeistic disturbances and animal magnetism. But there is a clear-cut line of demarcation between these activities of the lower astral order and the inspired work of the masters, which was to presage the dawn of a new era of the [[Brotherhood]]’s contact with humanity on a world scale.
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Historians trace the ancestry of spiritualism to [[witchcraft]], demoniac possession, poltergeistic disturbances and animal magnetism. But there is a clear-cut line of demarcation between these activities of the lower astral order and the inspired work of the masters, which was to presage the dawn of a new era of the [[Brotherhood]]’s contact with humanity on a world scale.
    
In their sponsoring of spiritualism, it was the desire of the masters to give hope to a tired and weary world of a life beyond, of comfort from the departed, even of the possibility of their own immortality. Spiritualism also paved the way for the successive revelations to be made by the Brotherhood through metaphysics.
 
In their sponsoring of spiritualism, it was the desire of the masters to give hope to a tired and weary world of a life beyond, of comfort from the departed, even of the possibility of their own immortality. Spiritualism also paved the way for the successive revelations to be made by the Brotherhood through metaphysics.
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Speaking of the masters’ introduction of spiritualism, Kuthumi says:  
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Speaking of the masters’ introduction of spiritualism, [[Kuthumi]] says:  
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<blockquote>When beloved El Morya and I introduced spiritualism to the advanced students of the West in the [nineteenth] century, it was with the fond hope of increasing men’s understanding of survival after death. We longed to see the receding of fear in men’s consciousness and the reflection of a more expanded vision of the eternal nature of life. Therefore, contacts carried on from a very high plane were permitted that the blessing to men might be very great. However, frequently the reverse was true.</blockquote>
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<blockquote>When beloved [[El Morya]] and I introduced spiritualism to the advanced students of the West in the [nineteenth] century, it was with the fond hope of increasing men’s understanding of survival after death. We longed to see the receding of fear in men’s consciousness and the reflection of a more expanded vision of the eternal nature of life. Therefore, contacts carried on from a very high plane were permitted that the blessing to men might be very great. However, frequently the reverse was true.</blockquote>
    
<blockquote>Fraud and deceit entered into the practice of spiritualism. Charlatans who took pleasure in entrancing the people with their own personalities for the love of money and self-glory perverted the original design of this potential avenue for Truth. Contacts debased themselves through association with the lower psychic or astral realm, paying heed to those [[discarnate entities]] whom they would never have deigned worthy of their attention while in embodiment. Thus, another door was closed that we might have used to bring humanity nearer to the Godhead.</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Fraud and deceit entered into the practice of spiritualism. Charlatans who took pleasure in entrancing the people with their own personalities for the love of money and self-glory perverted the original design of this potential avenue for Truth. Contacts debased themselves through association with the lower psychic or astral realm, paying heed to those [[discarnate entities]] whom they would never have deigned worthy of their attention while in embodiment. Thus, another door was closed that we might have used to bring humanity nearer to the Godhead.</blockquote>

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